Buying teas in supermarket
Do you buy tea in supermarket? For some reasons I have to go to supermarket to buy black tea last week. Well, It’s expensive and tastes bitter. I think I won’t buy teas in supermarket again for any cause.
I live near Central Market and they sell lose leaf teas. I never buy from them, mainly because they don’t carry what I primarily drink (Taiwanese oolongs or Sheng Puer).
It took a long time for me to finally give up on supermarket teas. There is a whole row of things there in lots of supermarkets where I live, and it seems some of it should be ok, sometimes, but the tea quality is so uniformly low that it’s almost like some sort of conspiracy.
I can pass on some interesting background about how that varies in different countries (interesting to me), since I’ve looked for tea in some others.
One of the last teas I bought in a grocery store was in Indonesia. Their selection of domestic teas is definitely medium quality in such a place, not the best teas, but better than I’m typically seeing here, per my take at least. A friend that lived there passed on that he liked the commercial jasmine black tea from grocery stores, which I also liked. But he had a bad reaction to drinking it over time, a side-effect that he traced back to that tea from adjusting different factors to determine cause (I forget the details though). I’m guessing it wasn’t from pesticide contamination or anything like that but instead that they used a chemical to help with the flavor extraction from the flowers, one that didn’t agree with him.
I saw relatively better teas being sold in grocery stores in Japan, although they would still be upper medium quality, not the best teas. I think it was a decent hojicha that I picked up in a specialty grocery store there, and also saw foreign teas being sold in some, but didn’t buy any. Come to think of it I bought a Menghai / Dayi tuocha in a specialty grocery store here last year, the kind of factory sheng pu’er that you could buy in different places, but at least it was probably a genuine version from such a source. Tea selection was also a lot better in Chinese grocery stores than here (in Beijing and Shanghai) but it would still be better to get it from decent tea shops there, or to gamble on quality in old-style markets.